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Poster: William Tell Date: Dec 28, 2009 5:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: TDIH: 12-29-68 (almost...)

Well, it's been said many times before, but in the interest of appeasing Dan Healy, and the newbies, I would like to take this "day before" to highlight my singularly FAVORITE set of songs of the Early Era...of course, I rank 6-14-68, 10-12-68 and 9-19-70, along with this one, as the four shows I regularly select to show folks what Jerry and the boys were capable of, but this show from Florida is just amazing.

First, the links...Will start with Miller, and though a nice upgrade from what's been available, do note that the all important Tr 6, OOne, has some minor digi-noise, as discussed previously by Arbuthnot and me (link unavailable)...this is only a very modest distraction, but note that you can splice together a Tr6 from a different version to compensate, as I do regularly (though I am sure purists would find this shocking).

There are a few others available here, as well as the now defunct GDLive versions available until a yr or two ago. EG, Cotsman:

Or, you can be exploratory, and go with the unreviewed version here at LMA, by Kaplan and Barbella:

Now, as to the setlist:

Set 1

Turn On Your Lovelight
Dark Star ->
Saint Stephen ->
The Eleven ->
Drums ->
The Other One ->
Cryptical Envelopment ->
Feedback ->
And We Bid You Good Night

(Note: this is the last of the versions linked above).

What makes this the fav of mine? Pure and simple it's the OOne in which Jerry smokes, with energy the likes of which you do not find in virtually any other show, save 6-14-68's StSt. Seriously...from the start, just out of drums, note how he sustains feedback esque notes while they beat out a most driving version of this amazing song...Jerry takes you on a multitude of crescendo buildups, bringing to mind the discussion yesterday with respect to what he may have brought from his banjo playing days.

Lets let a few reviews provide "independent" verification of my rantings:

"...I've had this show on tape for years, and now on CD. And although there's been some new good 1968 shows available lately, this show still remains one of my favorites. The Dead seem to often play their best under pressure, or when they share the stage - both of which are the case here. Historical note: this Miami Pop festival was partly produced by one Michael Lang, who would go on to create Woodstock a year later. The sound quality is excellent throughout, again perhaps due to the festival SBD situation. The Lovelight is shorter than some, but it gets the job done. Dark Star is also very good, already beginning to sound like 1969. Garcia explores many colors and themes in only 10 minutes. But it's the Eleven Jam where things really get rolling and tumbling with some really focused interplay between Phil, Jerry and the drums.

Then The Other One - wow, Jerry just blasts at you right out of the Drums like a fire engine with siren at full tilt!! They saved Other One until last for a reason, and it's obvious they're giving it all they've got. Then they bring you back to earth with a beautiful, well-jammed Cryptical.

The only thing wrong with this show is it's too short! But a classic you need for your 1968 collection. Crank it up.

Dr. Flashback :-)"

Now, for another:

"...this high-energy south Florida festival set is a steamroller! From the middle of St. Stepehen through Cryptical, Jerry cannot be restrained and your senses are left bludgeoned...


Sure, the LL is perhaps not that special, and the short end DS doesn't measure up to those of 69-70, much less will it impress those that tend toward 72-73, but the StSt (last of the short 68 style versions?) is damn good, and the Eleven is one of the better ones...but all you need to do is focus on the 6-8 min of the OOne, and then thrown on the CE to round out a series of Jerry leads that are just too difficult to surpass.

Like 6-14-68, whatever this show lacks (in this case, not sound quality like the June gem, but perhaps less than "best of" performances on other tunes present) it stands head and shoulders above so many others for what Jerry does in these 15 min or so...

Can anyone else so confidently assign the pinnacle of their particular "favorite period" to just a handful of shows? I readily admit this doesn't make me "superior" but rather more limited, I am sure; nonetheless, this show reveals what an early era focus can do for you...

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Poster: Finster Baby Date: Dec 29, 2009 5:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: 12-29-68 (almost...)

I will be checking this one out here momentarily... Your wish is my command. You are the PM after all!! :)

I must say however, that I am shocked...shocked I say, that among your supporting reviews, you did not include that splendid review by none other than oh_um_ah_uh_oh...

Come now, my friend. How could you fail to include this excellent bit of prose that has nothing whatsoever to do with the music????

Thank you Mr. Miller.

A "Must Have" show from 1968.

Here's the GRATEFUL DEAD we used to listen to, here's the sound that captured a generation and changed the world.

1968 was a bloody year of riots in Chicago at the DNC Convention, the War in Vietnam, Political assassinations of RFK and MLK, draft-card college protests, drugs, Nixon had just won the Presidency in November, and preparing Apollo for the Moon landing in July 69...Woodstock was still 7 months away from happening...

America was ripping itself apart. Jimmi Hendrix, Jim Morrision, Janis Joplin, The GRATEFUL DEAD, The BEATLES, The Rolling Stones, The Cream, were writing the soundtrack to the "changes".

Eat, Drink, Be Merry and Listen to the GRATEFUL DEAD.

Thanks for the "LOVE" from 1968.

PS: I wonder how many people miss 1968?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Dec 29, 2009 5:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: 12-29-68 (almost...)

Ha--yep, I saw that one and thought "uh-oh...there aren't as many reviews here as I'd recalled, and this one's right on TOP!"

Damn--do we have to devalue shows that have rec'd her/his attn? I can't recall if we decided the reviews were in fact directed toward "good shows" or not? IE, does the strangeness/sillyness of the reviews correlate with a poor "judgment" on overall show value...(if such a determination can be made). EG, there is a local movie reviewer that is just so lame when he gives a movie *****, my kids and I almost shudder and consider avoiding it completely...

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Poster: Finster Baby Date: Dec 29, 2009 6:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: 12-29-68 (almost...)

Most reviews I take with a grain of salt. Uh_ohs I take with a big blood pressure raising grain of salt. I might see a show with a large number of reviews and perhaps check it out due to the high volume of traffic that it has received, but even then I often times am not in tune with most of the reviewers.

The only reviews I give much credence to are ones that are posted here in the forum (usually in the form of a TDIH).
These types of posts are one of the reasons I really enjoy this forum as they often times point out shows that I might otherwise overlook! Yours this morning is a perfect example. I would have not have paid any attention to that show if you had not pointed it out.
As for your recommendation....sorry my friend, but I still am not getting it. I like it, but I don't love it. I enjoyed listening to it,and will listen to it and others from the era on occasion, but it is still not enough to lure me away from my beloved '70s and '80s.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Dec 29, 2009 10:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: 12-29-68 (almost...)

Got it; I really should say "there is no OTHER ONE" and leave the "show" aspect alone...just focus on that tune and let me know what you think.

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Poster: spacedface Date: Dec 29, 2009 2:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: 12-29-68 (almost...)

The Other One is intense; it seems like something's trying to get out, Truckin' in parts of it.

The more staid but still intense 8-21 TOO appeals to my makeup more though:

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Poster: tigerbolt Date: Dec 28, 2009 7:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: 12-29-68 (almost...)

i just dusted this one off also and forgot how the other one
always leave's a smoking crater in my much going on
that words can't describe.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Dec 28, 2009 11:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: 12-29-68 (almost...)

"Can anyone else so confidently assign the pinnacle of their particular "favorite period" to just a handful of shows?"

I can Guillaume, but it's 1/20/68 through 2/14/68 :)

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Poster: SkyDawg Date: Dec 29, 2009 1:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: 12-29-68 (almost...)

Almost, but hard to do without leaving out a WHOLE LOT!

My favorite period of shows is either April and May of 1972 (Europe '72) or February, March, and April of 1969.

March of 1990 also comes to mind as a distant third.

I don't know William Tell, and I respect your opinion and everything, but I still don't understand your love for this show.... Maybe I fell off a truck, but I have listened and listened to this show knowing that it is your favorite, but I still don't get it. Am I insane? What exactly gets you off so much about this show? It sounds pretty regular to me....
Tell me the key things and I will give it another listen...

The main thing I remember from that week in 1968 were the first images of the planet Earth being broadcast on TV that week on Christmas eve. December of 1968, a world in peril, yet we saw these images of Earth from the space ship.
"A peaceful place.. or so it looks from space.."

This post was modified by SkyDawg on 2009-12-29 09:03:09

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Poster: William Tell Date: Dec 29, 2009 5:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: 12-29-68 (almost...)

Yeah, I can see that--surprising revelation, perhaps, but here's what I'd do: skip everything, and go to the last 25 seconds of drums (usu Tr 5) and then just listen to OOne (there is no initial CE) a couple of times...throw in the CE "reprise" too, but really, it's the eight min of OOne that sets this one apart.

Listen to the first 3 min esp...then there is a "tape" flip (or brk? patched...), and the "between verses" sequence is also unreal.

Find another example of Jerry playing this high energy, making sounds you SIMPLY do not hear elsewhere (EG, the 78 show with Jan StSt strangeness isn't close to what he does here in the "context" of the song), and I'll eat my hat...along with the StSt of 6-14, the note production is just sublime--he makes one noise in (feedback? "off key"? dunno) following a line by Bob that just leaves me speechless.

This post was modified by William Tell on 2009-12-29 13:19:13

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Poster: bbbrew Date: Dec 29, 2009 4:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: 12-29-68 (almost...)

I agree, "between verses" licks are unreal.

My favorite is at 1:46, " It left a smoking crater of my mind I like to blow away"...dwwwoooooow.. bending of off key note. Great interpretive note.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Dec 28, 2009 9:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: 12-29-68 (almost...)

Top shelf recommendation Mr. Tell,that is one scorching Other One.I did something I rarely do and listened to it twice,back to back.